A new national network of excellence for mathematics is to be set up to boost standards in Welsh schools, it was announced today (Thurs 3rd Nov).
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has revealed a further £800,000 investment into maths and the creation of a network that will involve schools, universities and the regional consortia working together.
The network will provide a structured approach for mathematics support for ages 3 to 18 with the organisations involved working together to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and numeracy in schools and colleges.
The network’s work will include:
- Extra support to develop leadership in maths and help schools work together in support of higher standards.
- Supporting teachers, teaching assistants, further education lecturers and others to develop improved classroom practice.
- Schools and colleges will receive guidance, access to conferences and events on effective teaching practice.
- New accredited evidence-based professional development programmes for staff to improve their mathematics knowledge, and the teaching and learning of mathematics.
- Schools will receive support and knowledge from experts and specialists, including information on tried and tested approaches to improve attainment and high quality teaching resources.
Kirsty Williams said:
Dr Sofia Lyakhova, Senior Lecturer, Mathematics Department, College of Science, Swansea University said:
“Education reform is our national mission. Working together we will ensure that our young people have an equal opportunity to reach the highest standards. We must now work together to get the basics right, raising our standards and ambitions for excellence for all pupils, parents, students and teachers.
“High standards in maths in our schools and colleges is fundamental to this and will help us reduce the attainment gap and ensure every child in Wales has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This new National Network of Excellence will help us achieve this.
“Our performance at the top grades in maths show what Wales can achieve. This new network will see schools, education consortia and universities working together for the benefit of all our pupils. It will mean extra support, new development opportunities for teachers and access to the latest research and expert advice.
"Swansea has been working with other universities to support further maths at A- level for a number of years, and I am delighted that the government is making that support available across all of Wales.
“The National Network of Excellence is essential if we are to enhance support for all maths teachers, from age three through to A-level. This is an exciting and innovative development, and I look forward to working directly with education Consortia, other universities and teachers on this crucial area of education.”